Monday, May 14, 2018

Moumita'r Kochu Paata Chingri -- Colocasia Leaves with Shrimp

Moumita making her Kochupata Chingri
Today I will bring you a dish that  I had never had it growing up and my Mother never made it. Nor did my grandmother. 
But it is a Bengali delicacy and I have heard a lot about it mostly heard of  this dish as a speciality in a restaurant called Kasturi in Kolkata! Next time I am viisting india, I have to make sure I land up at Kasturi.


If you are still clueless as tow hat I am blabbering about , it is the famous #KochupaataBaataChingri or #KochupaatabhaapeChingri . We were on a scientific mission to nail down this dish which none of our Mothers had ever made and a couple of us had tasted it only once or maybe twice in their life. This project was very different from re-creating a dish from nostalgia. There was no recipe to follow either. Here we were re-creating something only from heresay. At least the cuisine was same and we had certain benchmarks to guide us like "shorshe baata" (mustard paste) or "narkol baata" (grated coconut). It would have been way harder if the ingredients had unknown tastes of "Yuzu" or "Katsuobushi"!

Our first imediment was our very little knowledge as to how to get Kochu Paata  I mean back home was I ever interested in Kocu? Err never ! The husband-man who is usually a "know-all" in these circumstances, said "kochu'r loti" is okay but no one ever uses "Kochu Paata" in  a Bengali dish!! We didn't pay much heed to him and the Kochu Paata problem was solved by Gujarati folks in town who use Colocassia leaves aka Kochu Paata to make Paatra. They guided us to the aisle in Patel Brothers which carries those leaves. 
Next it was my chef-de-extraordinaire friend Moumita who led the experiment. Now, she is the one who was making complex kheer kodomboss when I was barely getting my rice and egg curry right, so I knew the experiment was in able hands. "Chokh bondo kore bhorsha kora jaay" type. As in English, -- "Have full faith"
A few days back, one Thursday evening she called me to say that she had finally made "Kochu Pata Chingri" and  the result looked like a success, so she would drop off some for me to taste. Now by Thursday I have hardly anything interesting to eat at home and was planning to go out for dinner after Child 2's science fair. But Moumita's message was music to my ears and I shelved all plans, cooked a pot of rice and waited for dinner time. .
Her Kochupaata Chingri was delicious to say the least. Since I do not have the Kosturi benchmark to test against, I do not know how theirs taste but this one was awesome.

Next day, I sent the husband-man to scour aisles of Patel brothers and get "Kochu Paata". Then on a fine Saturday, I made the dish, following Moumita's recipe and tweaking on what she had created. She did the entire thing on stove top but after the initial few steps,  I put it in the oven bwhere I cooked it the same way I make "Chingri Bhaape".  The end result tasted very good though honestly we were yet to distinguish the taste of Kochu paata in it. But I am so glad that we did it and I don't have to wait a whole year to taste what Kochupata Chingri tatses like.

A big thanks of course goes to Moumita. And I hope we can get some time to bring a video of her famous Biriyani for you too.

And since I love to drool over kitchens and such, here is Moumita's gourmet kitchen. isn't it lovely?



And Ta-Da, here is the pretty Master Chef herself...





Kochu Paata Chingri



1. Buy Kochu Paata aka Colocassia Leaves. In the US or anywhere where you have Patel Brothers reigning the grocery stores, you can look for Paatra leaves



2. Soak 3 tbsp Mustard seeds + 1 tsp Poppy seeds for 30 mins or more. Then in a mixer jar add the
i. Drained mustard seeds + poppy seeds
ii. 4 green chilies chopped
iii. 1/4th Cup of grated coconut (I used frozen)
iv. 2 tbsp of Lime juice (or white vinegar)
With a splash of water make a paste. This is your Shorshe-Narkel baata.

3.In the same mixer jar as above add
1/2 Cup of grated coconut (I used frozen grated coconut which I had defrosted)
With a splash of water, make a thick paste of coocnut, Narkol Baata



4. Peel and clean your shrimp. Dust with salt and Turmeric powder



5. This was the first time I was seeing Kochu Paata and by God, they were humongous. To chop them first remove the thick vein that runs through the center. If you find any more thick veins, remove them too! Next roll the leaves and chop them in chiffonades



6. Now the thing with Kochu Paata is there is always a lurking fear that it might cause your throat to itch. So as a precautionary measure we will do this. Put a big pot of water to boil. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, add the chopped leaves of "kochu paata". Boil the leaves for 6-7 minutes. Drain the water and keep the boiled leaves aside.

7. Now heat Mustard Oil in a Kadhai or Frying pan. Saute the boiled "Kochu Paata" until they have softened.

8. Coarsely make a paste of half of this sauteed Kochu Paata. The other half keep aside.



9. Now in the same Kadhai/Frying pan, add some more Mustard Oil

10. Once the oil is hot, add 4 slit green Chilies and the Shorshe-Narkel baata from Step 2. Sprinkle 1/4th tsp of Turmeric Powder. Saute for 2 minutes.

11. Add the Narkol Baata from Step 3 and saute for 2 more minutes.

12. Now add the coarsely ground Kochu Paata as well as rest of the sauteed Kochu Paata from Step 8. Saute for next 8-10 minutes with splashes of water as needed.

13. Add salt to taste. Now add the shrimp and mix well. Add some more grated coconut.

14. At this point you can Drizzle a little mustard oil, add some slit green chilies, cover the Kadhai with a tight lid and keep cooking at medium heat for next 30-40 minutes. I did not do this.



15. Instead I transferred everything to a Oven safe Bowl, Drizzled 2 tsp of Mustard Oil, Added 3-4 slit green chilies, covered the bowl tightly with an aluminum foil and put it in the oven at 275 F. I let it cook there for 30-40 minutes.



16. Once it was done, i took it out and tasted it. Adjusted it for salt etc. and served with steaming hot rice.


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1 comment:

  1. I am gonna try and make this soon... looks so yummy.

    ReplyDelete

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